June 16, 2021
Congratulations! You’ve made significant investments in your marketing and sales efforts, and your pest control business is taking off.
You’ve got clients to service and technicians to route, so you’ve pulled out your Mapsco and have settled in for the next 8 to 16 hours (or more) of scheduling. You think there’s got to be an easier way. And there is—it’s called route optimization software.
As a pest control business owner, you face multiple challenges every day—customer appointments to organize, rising fuel costs, technicians and vehicles to manage, and tight time windows. These scenarios combine and create an overwhelming situation. Route optimization software takes all these challenges into account and works to find the best possible route to help technicians service customers faster. The benefits of route optimization software are many:
Eliminate Human Error
If operating your business requires you to manually input data into a system on a regular basis, then you’re familiar with data entry errors. Mistakes are inevitable. It’s human nature, but you can eliminate this headache by using route optimization software to automate the process. Computer programs are better than human beings at catching errors. Routing software ensures your addresses are 100% accurate. Catching incorrect addresses during the route planning process allows you to solve the issue before your technician drives to the wrong location. Routing software prevents mistakes from damaging your business’ reputation.
In the simplest of terms, route optimization software yields more efficient routing. More efficient routing means fewer miles driven by your technicians. Fewer miles driven by your technicians means you use less fuel and lower your fuel costs, which is a significant cost savings tool for your business whether fuel prices are low or high.
It Saves the Environment
"It ain’t easy bein’ green," but as our industry becomes more environmentally friendly, route planning software can help you reduce your fuel consumption, which, in turn, reduces your fuel emissions. It also minimizes your paper use since you no longer need to plan your routes manually. Save the trees for climbing!
Improve Customer Service
Not only do route planning solutions help your business meet tight schedules, but they also help you make changes to a planned route schedule on-demand so your business can handle emergencies with ease, keeping customers happy. Intelligent route optimization tools ensure that the right technician gets to the right customer at the right time. This allows you to tighten service windows given to customers and increases the on-time arrival rates.
Compared to manually designed routes, the latest in routing software can reduce the amount of time you spend planning your technician’s appointments. Increasing complexities in route needs and traffic flow make it critical to have an effective and quick solution to determine the best routes for each property—based on the technician, appointment, and time of day. Route optimization software can take over this process with the benefits of real-time data, all while freeing up your time to tackle other critical tasks for your business.
Today’s sophisticated technology uses complicated algorithms to determine the most efficient way to get from point A to point B. The best routes for your business will depend on different factors—where your customers are located, when they are scheduled, and which technician is available to do the job. When choosing a route optimization tool, consider products that offer up-to-date route information, accurate geocoding, analytics and report management, dynamic route planning, and job pooling.
Up-to-Date Route Information
In order to risk not losing business, technicians must arrive on time to their scheduled appointments. Route optimization software enables technicians to access detailed maps to view geographically how their stops will be organized to minimize drive time. A route optimization tool should be able to keep up with the ever-changing traffic patterns throughout the day. Route optimization software provides real-time assistance and alternative routes to technicians who find themselves in an unexpected traffic delay.
Geocoding is the process of converting an address into geographical coordinates that can be displayed on a map or used for routing. Accuracy is important because if the geocode is not correct, then this will affect your routing. The worst-case scenario is that the address or geocode is bad, and your technician cannot find the correct home or building to service. This wastes your technician’s valuable time and fuel.
Analytics and Report Management
Analytics and reporting can provide a new level of insight into your technicians’ operational efficiency and assist in identifying those areas where you can reduce costs or improve productivity. Customized reports can be produced according to your specific settings and configuration, allowing you to work with the most relevant and actionable information possible. A flexible report center will log the time and location for breaks, customer stops, refueling, and more, and it will report the exact route each technician took for any given day.
Dynamic Route Planning
Rather than just static route plans created through traditional batch optimization techniques, today’s route planning system must include dynamic planning to accommodate scheduling changes throughout the day—even when technicians are in route. Dynamic route planning provides the ability to adjust to a variety of anomalies and last-minute schedule changes. When a schedule must be added or deleted at the last minute, dynamic route planning evaluates the most cost-effective way to schedule services, and re-sequence stops.
Job pools let you view all customers due for service within a given time range and allows you to easily “drag-and-drop” appointments directly into your technician’s existing route. If a job is ever left complete, the property goes directly back to the top of the job list so that the task can be promptly re-assigned. Even if the technician could not get the job done that day, the job itself still gets done, which means no more missed revenue.
In the end, route optimization software is more than just a GPS. It improves your business operations and increases your revenue. With more efficient technicians, it helps create happier customers. Choosing the right route optimization software can save you thousands of dollars a month in office management time, technician time, gas, and lost opportunities.